Friday 29th September saw the launch of the second Barnes Film Festival, with a glittering champagne gala at the OSO Arts Centre in the heart of Barnes.
Celebrity guests, filmmakers, students, and our dedicated team of volunteers avoided the legions of ducks and swans (the OSO is next to the ornithologically endowed Barnes Pond) to walk the purple carpet, where they were greeted with music and canapes.
Barnes Film Festival founder Sam Cullis introduced the festival, showing trailers for some of the competition entries and a video introducing sponsor European Nature Trust, before inviting local MP Zac Goldsmith to the stage to officially declare the festival open!
After a short break it was my turn on stage, as I’d drawn the happy but slightly nerve-inducing task of hosting a Q+A with legendary writer producer couple Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue. Sue (producer of numerous hit shows including Mr Bean, Coupling, The Vicar of Dibley, and of course the worldwide smash hit Sherlock) and Steven (the writer and creator of Press Gang, Coupling, Sherlock, and former showrunner of Doctor Who) were charming and personable and instantly put me at my ease.
Over the course of the 40 minute Q+A, Sue and Steven talked about various facets of their careers in television, from the start of their careers, through to their biggest failures and the lessons learned along the way, to their current and no doubt future successes. Being a playwright myself I was interested to learn that Steven is currently trying to write his first play, which I hope one day reaches the stage.
I opened the event to audience questions, and Sue and Steven generously gave advice to aspiring filmmakers, talked writer’s rooms and the future of television, and joined an enthusiastic audience member in fan-ning over Columbo!
A great night was had by all, and the event set the stage for the rest of the weekend perfectly.
Thank you Sam, Sue, Steven, and all the people who gave their time to make BFF 17 such a stunning success.